Leeds United had been the better side against Brentford at Elland Road in August, but had been unable to make the breakthrough. Despite Brentford’s results not being great at the start of the season, they had outplayed the teams they faced and everyone was expecting them to be one of Leeds’ main rivals for Promotion.
Leeds’ fans were worried about a repeat of their opening home league game where they dominated the game against Nottingham Forest but only came away with a 1-1 draw - but a combination of Eddie Nketiah’s introduction and great play from fellow substitute Helder Costa gave Leeds all three points. They were two of the bigger substitutions Marcelo Bielsa would make all season.
Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah made an instant impact at Elland Road as he scored the winner for Leeds against Brentford!— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) August 21, 2019
Watch full match highlights here: https://t.co/z5p2ozV52A pic.twitter.com/YlQpkFaVZy
England u21 international Nketiah had shown his goalscoring credentials with an early goal on his debut against Salford City in the Carabao Cup and in this game he had a shot on target almost immediately after coming on - but it was the contribution four minutes after his introduction that got Leeds one of their most crucial wins of the season.
Mateusz Klich played a pass down the right channel for Costa to run on to, and he showed tremendous pace to run past Ethan Pinnock and head towards to goal-line. Costa played the ball across the six-yard line with the outside of his left-foot, taking Sweden defender Pontus Jansson (signed from Leeds just a few weeks earlier), fellow centre-back Julian Jeanvier, and goalkeeper David Raya completely out of the game.
FT Leeds 1 Brentford 0. That’s a valuable win. Tough night, hard fought but that bit of class from Costa and Nketiah...worth fighting for in the transfer window.— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) August 21, 2019
Nketiah’s tap-in was simple, but he showed good movement to bend his run towards the far post while the defenders got sucked towards the ball. More than the finish was the moment itself. A sold out Elland Road erupted and the players’ celebrations were joyful, but stood in front of them was an Arsenal loanee mimicking a phone with his right hand - this phone-call was one of the first big steps in Leeds making their reservation for a seat at the Premier League table.
The moments that secured promotion.
1) Leeds 1 - 0 Brentford - Nketiah 81’